Poligrip Recall Issued for Denture Cream with Zinc in Japan

GlaxoSmithKline will issue a Poligrip recall in Japan for all of their denture cream products that contain zinc, due to the risk of serious and debilitating physical injuries that can be caused by using the adhesive cream to keep ill-fitting dentures in place.

The recall of Poligrip EX, the Japanese version of the popular denture cream sold as Super Poligrip in the United States, comes after U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline acknowledged that zinc poisoning from the denture cream can cause serious health problems.

Last month, the company discontinued Super Poligrip with zinc in the United States, but has not issued a recall here. GlaxoSmithKline indicated that the U.S. products will be replaced with zinc-free versions.

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The zinc contained in denture cream products can enter the body, especially when too much is used to keep dentures in place. Increased levels of zinc in the body can deplete copper levels, causing a condition known as hypocupremia, which is known to increase the risk of significant neurological problems that can leave users with permanent and debilitating physical injuries. Although the recommended daily allowance of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women, with 40 mg being the maximum amount of zinc that can be safely tolerated, some denture creams have been found to expose users to levels as high as 330 mg per day.

Glaxo has only been selling Poligrip EX in Japan since 2007. It has sold about 1.9 million units there since marketing began.

A large number of denture cream lawsuits have been filed against GlaxoSmithKline over its Poligrip cream and against Proctor and Gamble over its Fixodent denture adhesive. About 70 cases filed in federal courts throughout the United States have been centralized in a denture cream multidistrict litigation (MDL) for coordinated pretrial litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Zinc is believed to help with the adhesive properties of the denture creams. However, until recently neither GlaxoSmithKline or Proctor and Gamble had alerted users that zinc was an ingredient in their products.

1 Comments

  • EdJuly 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I have been using Poligrip for about 35 years, I'm concerned about the recall. I have been experiencing many health issues. I don't know if it is related; cancer, hair loss, diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure and my gums are recessing.

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